Saturday, April 2, 2011

Losing touch

I wasn't going to complain, but I felt down.  I haven't been baking for maybe more than a month and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my skills.  The old adage of practice makes perfect should've been like a mantra to me, yet I perfectly ignored it.  Yesterday I was making genoise cake for my mom's birthday this Sunday.  I was planning ahead; baked the layer cakes first so today I could get on with the filling.  But the cakes decided to take a downturn after they came out of the oven.  I was suspicious of the batter already before they went in, they looked too bubbly and sad.  That even after a perfectly ballooning volume when whipped in the mixer, the batter wasn't going to survive; my heart sank immediately--just like the cakes (pun intended).

What to do when you encountered a failure?  You try again, right?  That's right, I'm not going to let this get me.  I'm going to attempt to make another cakes this evening though the time sure seems like running short on me.  I'm going to participate in Race for the Roses tomorrow morning which means I've to slap this cake together by the time the party starts in late afternoon.  My dad and I are going to walk the 10K race along with my friends.  I hope the weather will hold up tomorrow, my dad is in good shape that I know he'll ace this easily.  As for me, I feel like I'm more prepared for the race than for making the birthday cake.

Before I end my post, I feel like I've to share some food photos.  This blog isn't a food blog for without food photos, it's unappetizing.

Ontbijtkoek, a typical Dutch cake which translates to "breakfast cake."  Due to Dutch influence in Indonesia, this type of cake is very popular, it's mostly eaten as snack.  Upon researching the origin of the cake I found out that rye flour is primarily used for the brown color in the cake, but we regularly use brown or palm sugar to make it brown.  It is also known as Dutch spice cake due to the various spices used to flavor the cake, mainly cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg.  My mom made it with the addition of raisins.

Padangnese food, a speciality dishes from a province in West Sumatra comprised of various vegetables and meat dishes that are heavy on spices, chili, and coconut milk.  Padangnese restaurants in Indonesia showcase their dishes in plates stacked vertically on the restaurants' front windows.  Once seated the server will bring various dishes in small plates to the table alongside rice, hot tea, and water bowls for washing your fingers.  You'll only pay on the plates that you touch or finish; now that I think about it, it's actually the original tapas food for the Indonesians, except we don't order it ahead. On the photo, there are gulai ayam, rendang daging and telor, gulai sayur, and sambal lado ijo.
Masakan Padang

Bluder tape, or also known as fermented cassava cake. I don't know any explanation to the word bluder, though I know tape is a term for fermented food.  On my last post of fermented cassava, there are lots of ways to make something that sounds unappealing to something that at least tastes super delicious.  Translating the name of food from Bahasa Indonesia to English is no easy feat, stumble on it,  your creation will sound unquestionable plasticky and sticky--like tape literally.  Mom made the cake in its simplest form, no cheese, no nuts, no dried fruits.  Sometimes it's best that way.
Bluder tape

Bluder tape

All food credits go to my darling mom, I'm merely the photographer and taster.

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